By Tanatswa Chikuku
Just before the sun had started its journey across the African cold sky, I jumped, tumbled and scrambled into my rambled clothes, cat licked my face and legs and soon I was in the kitchen preparing food to go to the ceremony of welcoming the new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa. It was on December 6, 2017.
On this colourful day, the sun in heaven was shining gay, all things were joyful, the birds screamed and wheeled around the sky. I felt the cheering power of summer; it made me sing, whistle and feverish with excitement. I was going to recite a poem of welcoming the new President of Zimbabwe. I boarded a bus to the National Sports Stadium where the ceremony was to be held. The bus roared on, wildly lurching and my heart was pattering with joy.
I saw crowds of people walking towards the stadium. When I arrived, the sun shone brilliantly from a vivid blue sky, the strange smell that hung upon the air and loud harsh sounds of people discharged me from dreamland. It was all smiles in the stadium. The terraces were already filled to capacity. People were many and they were huddled together like cattle in a kraal.
There was a fleet of cars and the guests were gorgeously dressed. Performers sat in the VIP tent, which was decorated with eye-catching flowers. Everything inside it was catchy. I felt lonely as a deserted ship. I heard a familiar voice, I turned and saw Jah Prayzah. I stood spellbound with parted lips and wondering eyes. I cupped my agape mouth with my hands. He gave me his autograph. I was as joyful as a fly.
Meanwhile, while I was taking water from my back pack, I heard cheers rising from the crowd. With curiosity, I looked at the stage. To my surprise, I saw the president with his wife, Auxillia Mnangagwa. My eyes were as round as sauces with surprise. I was left action-frozen with my mouth ajar. Mrs Mnangagwa had deep-set eyes which twinkled. Her hair was a mass of waves and her clothes were as fabulous as Aladdin’s ring.
We were introduced to Vice-President Contastino Chiwenga. The expression in his eyes was kind and patient. The other vice-president was Kembo Muhadi, who exuded a friendly smile.We were also introduced to the other important guests. Mr Mnangagwa did his oath. He gave a marvellous speech. His slanting eyes widened as he read. When the president finished his speech, the whole crowd applauded. People were as merry as spring.
In the early hours of the afternoon, I was called to recite my poem. I was nervous at first as I stood glued like a fly in the path of a chameleon. I then recited the poem and I was given a hug by the first lady. Some performers did mass displays and they were good. The Iyasa dancers performed wildly and beautifully and in perfect time. Their dances were breath-taking. Musicians like Jah Prayzah, Sulumani Chimbetu and Oliver Mtukudzi performed as well. Everyone was in a jovial mood.
The master of ceremony was Pathisani Sibanda, who generated some elementary excitement which made us laugh our lungs out. The glitter of the lights, fancy décor and soothing music added charm to the luxurious setting of the tent. One of the ushers in the tent told us that we would be given food and one of the men with a bright, red face and a pursed mouth giggled greedily when he heard about the news. The wonderful aroma of food hung in the air refreshingly. The bright, red-faced man helped himself to two of the largest chunks of meat.
The president gave a speech before he departed. When it was time to go home, crowds ran pell-mell towards the main gate. The sun had already disappeared altogether and darkness fell, bats whooping around and crickets and frogs starting their nighty chorus. I bulldozed my way out of the crowd.
I boarded a bus back home and slept on the seat because I was tired. I got home, greeted my parents and went to sleep in my room. Now I was sleeping and there was nothing to disturb me except the quiet hum of some gauzed wing insect. It was peaceful and safe, so I sighed contentedly in my dreams.
It was indeed an exciting day. I was left with a story to tell.
l Tanatswa Chikuku is a 13-year-old student at Glen View 1High School. Students can contribute to Our Future Scribes via email: email@example.com